AN architect has become the new owner of an iconic Eden farmhouse made famous by the cult 1980s film Withnail and I.

Tim Ellis, 41, of Canterbury, has bought Sleddale Hall, near Shap, from water company United Utilities for an undisclosed sum and plans to transform the dilapidated property into a house.

Eden pub boss Sebastian Hindley originally bought the farmhouse, known as Uncle Monty’s Cottage in the 1987 film, for £256,000 at auction but the deal fell through.

Mr Ellis, who was an under-bidder at the auction, said he was ‘delighted’ to have a second opportunity to buy Sleddale Hall and that the prospect of restoring the farmhouse was ‘exciting but daunting.’ He said: “I first saw the film about seven years ago and have been a fan ever since. I would like to restore the building in a way that other fans of the film could approve of.

“There is a lot of work to be done before I can draw up firm plans but my intention is not to deprive Sleddale’s many admirers of its links with its iconic past.”

Mr Ellis, who specialises in the restoration of historic buildings, said he would restore the downstairs rooms to the way they looked in the film, which he said would mean no overhead lighting, radiators or other obvious modern intrusions.

“Sleddale is still readily recognisable as having been used in the film and I want to make reference to that with anything I do with the house,” he said.